Q2 Music: Why Writ­ers Should Get Over Pop Music

iStockphoto / dblight


By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson


From October 22, 2011
This post contains my take on the importance of getting beyond the everyday musical habits of popular culture for writing. It’s also an introduction for many to Q2 Music, the online-streaming contemporary classical service of NPR affiliate WQXR in New York. You can read the entire post at  JaneFriedman.com

Pop music is the worst thing that could happen to your writing. It’s for dates and bad wedding receptions. Turn it off at once.

Pop is designed to structure your ideas. Stereo hearts in the dark with pumped up kicks. And it works far too well for a writer’s good. As Noel Coward told us, it’s extraordinary how potent cheap music is.

Contemporary classical music, the genius of today’s living composers, will set you free.

Shake out some of the sand that’s in your hair when you come in off the dunes of life. Mess with your best nitties. Line up your finest gritties. You know what we’re doing, don’t you? Well, of course you do. Get them in the right order and others can read what you were thinking. Even feel what you were feeling. These are words. And this is writing. It’s what we do.

But why not engage an even higher alchemy?

Living composers, gorgeous and serious creatures with racing-quick wits—not old dead white guys in breeches—arrive dusted in the same nuggets of concept and emotion we writers wear. Same world as ours, after all. But they super-heat what sticks to them into a new substance.

High-silica content: composers’ material moves through time. And this is your hours’ glass.

Contemporary classical music wraps your efforts to fuse thought and emotion in a see-through composite. Clear aesthetic possibility.

As your words rush through that glassy focused space–space they create with their music–you may or may not share a single concept with your composer. Doesn’t matter. The transparency of her or his medium opens windows in your work, shifting your sands with new breezes of sonic intelligence.

Read the full post here at JaneFriedman.com

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